May 21, 2011

Young Adults, Teens, Prefer Rapid HIV-Testing

According to a study released by the Health Behavioral News Service (part of the Center for Advancing Health), 85% of youth who came into a Boston clinic for a free HIV-screening preferred the rapid screening test.  Many of these people in the study are also willing to contribute at least $10 toward the cost of a future rapid HIV-test.  The biggest concern about testing in general is the concern that their parents and health insurers would discover the result. 

The fact that people are willing to pay $10 for tests is important, as this seems to be in the ballpark of what over-the-counter tests would cost.  It is unfortunate that this study did not include a question about testing at home as a follow-up option, especially since this study also found that "teens who inconsistently use condoms with a serious partner are four times more likely to accept testing than those reporting multiple sex partners", according to Rebecca Swenson, Ph.D. 

There's a lot in here that point to the need for change in the ways HIV-testing is done.  I wonder what it will take for "AIDS, Inc" to know that major overhauls to the system, not just tweaking, are needed.